Where did Ted Cruz get the idea that Republican voters want to move “beyond rhetoric”?

It’s strange to listen to a politician whose campaign is built on such wonkish planks as defending religious liberty and restoring the Constitution criticize his opponents for a lack of substance. But after declaring he will shut down the Department of Education and identify, hunt down, and fire bureaucrats in Washington, Cruz went after Donald Trump for talking loose on trade.

Levying high tariffs on foreign-made goods, Cruz contended, would cause cost increases for the consumer. “Mind you, you are paying the tax. It’s not China that pays the tax. It’s you, the working men and women. So ask yourself at home, how is this helping you?... We’ve got to get beyond rhetoric, and actually get to solve the problem.” 

But there’s no reason to believe that the Republican base is clamoring for nuanced policies. There’s even less reason to believe that Cruz, the supposed nemesis of the “Washington cartel,” is the person to give it to them.